The question of how life first emerged here on Earth is a mystery that continues to elude scientists. Despite everything that scientists have learned from the fossil record and geological history, it is still not known how organic life emerged from inorganic elements (a process known as abiogenesis) billions of years ago.
One of the more daunting aspects of the mystery has to do with peptides and enzymes, which fall into something of a "chicken and egg" situation. Addressing this, a team of researchers from the University College London (UCL) recently conducted a study that effectively demonstrated that peptides could have formed in conditions analogous to primordial Earth.
The study that details their findings was recently published in the scientific journal Nature. The research team was led by Dr. Matthew Powner, a Reader of Organic Chemistry with UCL's Department of Chemistry, and included Pierre Canavelli and Dr. Saidul Islam — both of whom are researchers with UCL's Organic and Biological Chemistry Section.